Jon Rahm lived up to his billing as the hottest talent in professional golf after starting his week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a seven-under 65 on Thursday.

Rahm, the world number one, boasts five wins from his past nine starts worldwide and has not finished an event outside the top 10 since finding himself in a tie for 15th in August's Tour Championship.

Coming off a victory in his most recent outing at the Genesis Invitational, Rahm is looking to secure another of the PGA Tour's new elevated events, with the increased prize pool drawing 44 of the world's top-50 players to the famous Bay Hill course.

He certainly made a promising start in Florida, heading into day two with a two-shot lead at the top of the leader board.

Rahm began his day with three consecutive birdies and finished with another two on 17 and 18 having carded an eagle on the par-five 16th.

His sole bogey came on hole eight, failing to recover a par after a wayward tee shot.

Another competitor coming off a win in his most recent start, last week's Honda Classic champion Chris Kirk is tied for second at five under with Cameron Young and Kurt Kitayama.

Not a single player finished their round bogey-free, but Kitayama and Max Homa (two under) made it through 17 holes before their first blemishes came on the 18th.

The group tied for fifth at four under includes some of the game's biggest stars, with world number two Scottie Scheffler joined by three-time major winner Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele and resurgent fan favourite Rickie Fowler.

Max Homa and Keith Mitchell are tied for the lead after Thursday at the Genesis Invitational, but all eyes were on Tiger Woods as he finished his opening round with three consecutive birdies.

In his first non-major PGA Tour start since October 2020, Woods displayed impressive physical capabilities, often out-driving his playing partners Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas.

The 15-time major champion birdied his first hole – to a raucous ovation – but he had three bogeys and one birdie over his next 11, reaching the 15th at one over.

He proceeded to electrify the audience with a birdie after a beautiful approach on the par-three 16th, before following it with a long-range birdie putt on the par-five 17th, and another picture-perfect approach on the last set him up for his third birdie in a row to finish at two under.

Playing partners McIlroy (four under) and Thomas (three under) both also birdied the 18th in a thrilling finale for the featured group.

Homa and Mitchell were the only players to shoot seven-under 64s during their first trip around Riviera Country Club, while the red-hot Jon Rahm is alone in third at six under.

Collin Morikawa is part of the three-man group at five under, McIlroy headlines the group at four under, and Thomas is joined by Patrick Cantlay and Rickie Fowler at three under.

There is a loaded group with Woods at two under, including Viktor Hovland, Will Zalatoris, Xander Schauffele and Im Sung-jae.

Scottie Scheffler won his first PGA Tour title 12 months ago at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and he is looking to defend that crown as he heads into the weekend with a two stroke lead at 10 under.

A large chunk of the field still have between five and eight holes remaining before they complete their second round, with a delay on Thursday creating a backlog as players had to finish their first round early Friday morning.

Scheffler was part of the early group and followed his opening 68 with a seven-under 64, and he was the only player to shoot seven under on his second trip around TPC Scottsdale.

It is shaping up as a tantalising battle at the top of the leaderboard after Jon Rahm's 66 clawed his way into a tie for second at eight under, where he is joined by round-one leader Adam Hadwin, who still has eight holes to play.

Im Sung-jae will have his sights set on posting the best second-round score, with time being called while he was six under through 12 holes, and tied for fourth with Wyndham Clark at seven under overall.

The only other player with a second-round score of six under or better was Venezuela's Jhonattan Vegas, rebounding strongly from an even-par opener, and he has four holes remaining to try and match Scheffler's heroics. 

Also in a tie for sixth with Vegas are former world number one Jason Day and current world number six Xander Schauffele, while the dangerous duo of Tom Kim and Jordan Spieth are one further back at five under.

Major champions Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy are still in the hunt at three under, Viktor Hovland is at two under, and Hideki Matsuyama is at one under with five holes to play.

Half the field still need to complete their opening round, but Nick Taylor and Adam Hadwin raced around with the early group to take a share of the lead into Friday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Taylor had a rollercoaster of a round, posting a one-over front-nine after an eagle, a double-bogey and a bogey, before flying home with six birdies on the back-nine to finish at five under.

He is joined by Canadian compatriot Hadwin as the only players to finish rounds of 66, but there is a strong chasing pack who were unable to finish that will look to snatch the round-one lead on Friday morning.

World number six Xander Schauffele is one stroke off the lead at four under, although he has finished his round, while joining him in a tie for third are former world number one Jason Day (through 10) and American Jim Herman (through 13).

The red-hot Jon Rahm will have his sights on the top, sitting at three under with five holes to play, as will both Max Homa and Keegan Bradley who are also at three under with six holes to play.

Major champion Matt Fitzpatrick is joined by Tony Finau, Sam Burns and Im Sung-jae in the group who completed one-under rounds, while Jordan Spieth posted an even-par 71.

Justin Thomas (one over through 12) will have a chance to still finish his first round under par, while Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay and Cameron Young will all be trying to fight their way back into contention after finishing two over.

Jon Rahm has now won back-to-back PGA Tour starts after repelling the challenge of Davis Thompson at The American Express.

Rahm, who came from behind at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, also closed 2022 with DP World Tour victories at the Spanish Open and the DP World Tour Championship, giving him four wins from his past six starts overall.

He came into the final round at PGA West's Pete Dye Stadium Course tied for the lead at 23 under, and after rounds of 64, 64 and 65, he closed with a four-under 68 to post a winning score of 27 under.

Rahm reached the 16th hole tied with Thompson for the lead, but he produced a clutch birdie on the par five while Thompson could only scramble for par following a wayward tee shot.

Thompson almost tied things up at the picturesque par-three 17th, but his 50-foot putt crashed into the flag stick and somehow stayed out.

There would be no late twists in the tale, as Rahm found the bunker with his tee shot on the last but followed it with a perfect approach, while Thompson did not leave himself a birdie putt.

The 23-year-old Thompson finished alone in second at 26 under for his best ever finish on the PGA Tour, while some terrific Sunday scores were posted to climb into the top 10.

World number six Xander Schauffele tied for the round of the day as he shot a 10-under 62 to climb into a share of third at 25 under. He was matched by South Africa's Erik van Rooyen, who also posted a 62 to finish tied for sixth at 23 under with rising South Korean star Tom Kim.

After two rounds at The American Express it is Davis Thompson and Jon Rahm who have broken away from the field, both at least three strokes clear of third place.

Thompson was the first-round leader after riding back-to-back eagles to a 10-under 62 – the best score of his PGA Tour career – and he added three more eagles in his second round to follow it up with a 64 and head into the weekend at 18 under. His five eagles ties the PGA Tour record for the most through 36 holes at any event.

He is two strokes clear of Rahm at 16 under after the world number four went bogey-free for his second 64 in a row.

Both players began their week on the La Quinta Country Club course, and both played the PGA West's Nicklaus Tournament course on Friday. They will play Saturday's round on the PGA West Stadium Course, which is also where Sunday's final round will be contested.

There are some big names in the chasing pack, with South Korean rising star Tom Kim and former world number one Jason Day part of a five-man group at 13 under.

Patton Kizzire is alone in eighth at 12 under, while world number six Xander Schauffele rounds out the top-10 in a tie for ninth at 11 under.

World number two Scottie Scheffler and number five Patrick Cantlay are still in the hunt at 10 under, while number seven Will Zalatoris is one shot inside the theoretical cut line at six under, but all players will get one more round before the cut at the conclusion of round three.

Davis Thompson produced back-to-back eagles on his way to a two-stroke lead after opening with a 10-under 62 at the American Express in California on Thursday.

The unheralded 23-year-old American leads the way from a stacked field that includes 10 of the top 20 in the world.

Thompson set up his career-low round by shooting an eight-under-par 28 on his front nine, including eagles on both the fifth and sixth holes at the La Quinta Country Club, which is one of three courses being used as players also spread across the PGA West's Stadium Course and Nicklaus Tournament Course.

The American's performance tied the lowest front-nine score on the course, having made six of seven fairways and eight of nine greens.

Behind Thompson is a group of five players, including former world number one Jon Rahm who carded nine birdies and a bogey in his round of 64 on La Quinta. Rahm is tied with Sam Burns, Tyler Duncan, Matti Schmid and Taylor Montgomery at eight under.

Burns might have been outright second if not for a bogey on the 18th on the Stadium Course, having carded seven birdies on his front nine. The American made nine consecutive one-putts.

Nine players are a further stroke back at seven under after the first round, including Tokyo Olympics gold medalist and two-time major runner-up Xander Schauffele, who also shot an eagle on the fifth.

Among the pre-tournament favourites, Scottie Scheffler and Patrick Cantlay both shot four under on La Quinta, while Will Zalatoris managed three under on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Tony Finau and Tom Kim carded rounds of three under at La Quinta.

Viktor Hovland survived a nervy finish on his way to back-to-back Hero World Challenge titles as he finished at 16 under for a two-stroke victory.

Hovland defeated Scottie Scheffler by one stroke in last year's edition, and by defending his crown, he joined Tiger Woods (2006 and 2007) as the only other player to win this event in consecutive seasons.

He entered Sunday's play at the Bahamas' Albany Golf Course with a three-stroke buffer, but was made to sweat in the middle stages as playing partner Scheffler eagled the par-five sixth hole to cut the margin to just one.

Scheffler could not keep it up, posting a bogey and a double-bogey to close the front-nine and give Hovland some breathing room. However, he came roaring back down the stretch, with three consecutive birdies on 14, 15 and 16 to pull to within two.

The Norwegian opened the door on the 18th and final hole, with his tee shot finding the rough, before his next shot went in the water, but he was able to pitch and one-putt to save a bogey, meaning Scheffler had to birdie the hole to force a play-off.

Scheffler could not hit the green in regulation to give himself a birdie putt, and lipped out with his chip, finishing with a par to claim the runner-up spot yet again as the world number two shot a 68 while Hovland finished with a 69.

Speaking to NBC after stepping off the final green, Hovland did not hide his relief after surviving his late blunder.

"It's freaking nerve-wracking," he said. "I mean I was leading by five I think after the turn, but still, you're never that comfortable.

"I didn't play all that great on the back-nine, but it was good enough.

"We're at an amazing resort, there's only 20 guys – but it's the best 20 guys in the world, basically."

Cameron Young finished outright third at 12 under, with Xander Schauffele in fifth at 11 under and Justin Thomas rounded out the top five at 10 under.

Reigning champion Viktor Hovland carded a round-of-the-day eight-under-par 64 to pull three shots clear at the Hero World Challenge on Albany Golf Course in the Bahamas on Saturday.

The Norwegian, who was the joint leader after day one and outright leader by one shot at halfway, shot 10 birdies in his stunning third round to open up a three-shot gap on Scottie Scheffler.

Hovland could have been further ahead if not for a bogey on the par-four 18th hole, having managed six birdies in the previous seven holes to card 31 on his back nine. He also bogeyed on the sixth hole.

The reigning champion, who managed eagles in both of his first two days, fired in a dart over the water off the tee on the par-three 17th hole to set up a routine birdie putt.

Hovland leads from world number two Scheffler, who hit 66 on day three, to move up to 10-under overall.

Scheffler buried an eagle putt on the par-five 15th hole to move into solo second, having five birdies for his round, along with a bogey.

Justin Thomas is a further two shots behind Scheffler at eight-under overall, alongside Cameron Young who had been in the four-player pack one stroke behind Hovland at halfway.

Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele are tied at seven under, rounding out those in contention with a big gap to the next best, Jon Rahm who is four-under overall.

Kevin Kisner landed a hole-in-one on the par-three 12th hole to produce the first ace on that hole since the event moved to Albany in 2015.

Viktor Hovland is alone atop the Hero World Challenge leaderboard after Friday's second round, following his opening 69 with a two-under 70 to enter the weekend at five under.

Hovland, who was the joint-leader entering the day, is the reigning champion at the event after edging Scottie Scheffler by one stroke at Albany Golf Course in the Bahamas last year.

In an action-packed second round, the Norwegian posted an eagle with four birdies and four bogeys, with his slam-dunk shot of the day on the par-five sixth hole making it back-to-back rounds with an eagle.

He is one stroke clear of a four-man group consisting of Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Cameron Young and Collin Morikawa, with playing partners Scheffler and Schauffele posting four-under 68s to tie for the round of the day.

South Korean 20-year-old Tom Kim is the only player in sixth at three under, Justin Thomas is alone at two-under, and Billy Horschel is tied with Tiger Woods' late replacement Sepp Straka for eighth at one under.

It leaves 11 of the 20-player field at least five strokes off Hovland's lead, with Matt Fitzpatrick, Tony Finau and Jon Rahm at even par.

It was a day to forget for Tommy Fleetwood, Corey Conners, Max Homa and Shane Lowry, with all four shooting their way out of contention with rounds of four over or worse.

Viktor Hovland is looking to win back-to-back Hero World Challenge titles and started his week on the right track, finishing Thursday's opening round in a four-way tie for the lead at three under.

The small field boasts 20 of the PGA Tour's top talents, with Tiger Woods hosting the event at Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas.

Winner of the 2021 edition, Hovland posted an impressive eagle on the par-four 14th hole to go with his two birdies and one bogey to share the lead through 18 holes.

Norway's top golfer is joined by 20-year-old South Korean phenom Tom Kim, America's Collin Morikawa, and Austria's Sepp Straka, with the latter coming in as the late replacement for Woods following his withdrawal due to plantar fasciitis.

Kim, who already has two PGA Tour wins under his belt, was the only of the foursome to not make a single bogey.

They are one stroke clear of Sam Burns alone in fifth at two under, with Cameron Young, Max Homa and Tommy Fleetwood tied for sixth at one under.

World number two Scottie Scheffler is joined by two-time major champion Justin Thomas as part of the group at even par, while Jon Rahm is at one over, and Matt Fitzpatrick is at two over.

Corey Conners is alone in 19th at three over, and Jordan Spieth is dead last and the only player at four over.

Jordan Spieth and Max Homa capped off their excellent week's work with singles wins to help the United States secure the Presidents Cup by a final score of 17.5-12.5 at Quail Hollow.

Spieth was the only player to win in all five sessions, banking four victories while paired up with Justin Thomas before defeating Cam Davis 4 and 3 in Sunday's singles matchplay.

Despite the comfortable final score, it was Spieth who had to respond to early adversity after Davis won the first two holes, but after clawing back to even, the American rattled off four consecutive victorious holes on the back nine to pull away.

Thomas had a chance to equal Spieth with five wins for the week, but he ended up going down to Kim Si-woo as the South Korean won the 18th hole to finish 1up.

After Spieth, the only other American to finish the competition unbeaten was Homa, who played in three of the four pairs sessions before edging out Tom Kim for a 1up win in the singles.

Xander Schauffele finished 1up against Corey Conners to clinch overall victory for the US team at a time when five matches were still on the course.

In other results to tilt America's way, Tony Finau beat Taylor Pendrith 3 and 1, Patrick Cantlay had a 3 and 2 success over Adam Scott, and Collin Morikawa also won 3 and 2 against Mito Pereira.

However, it proved a highly competitive singles section of the event as the United States only narrowly edged it with six wins and a halved contest, as Sam Burns and Hideki Matsuyama fought out a stalemate.

The Internationals took five of the 12 matchups. Lee Kyoung-hoon was the most emphatic winner from his team, defeating Billy Horschel 3 and 1, while Sebastian Munoz upset world number one Scottie Scheffler 2 and 1 and Christiaan Bezuidenhout got the better of Kevin Kisner 2 and 1.

Im Sung-jae landed a 1up win versus Cameron Young after taking the lead on the 17th hole.

The United States have won nine consecutive editions of the Presidents Cup since a tie in 2003, with the International team's only triumph coming in 1998.

The Internationals have charged back into contention ahead of the final day of the Presidents Cup but still trail 11-7 at Quail Hollow in North Carolina.

USA had led 8-2 heading into Saturday's action that included four morning foursome matchups followed by four fourball contests, with Australia’s Cam Davis and South Korean Kim Joo-hyung starring for the under-dog International team.

The Internationals won two of the morning's foursome matchups and three of the fourball contests to make up major ground but will need win 8.5 points from the 12 on offer on the final day with singles to determine the winner.

If the International team win, it would be the greatest last day comeback in Presidents Cup history and their first victory since 1998 in Melbourne, the team's sole triumph.

"I'm almost in tears," Internationals captain Trevor Immelman said. "I'm so proud of these guys. We've fought so hard. We've had to be so patient."

"We’ve got a very long way to go. We know how tough the Americans are in singles. But today was a great day for us. This team has been through a lot."

Debutant Kim Joo-hyung had one of the moments of the day, sinking a 10-foot birdie putt at the 18th hole to clinch a 1up victory with Kim Si-woo against the previously unbeaten Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay.

The South Korean emotionally reveled in victory after the putt, having holed a 54-foot eagle putt on the 11th hole. In a seesawing fourball contest, Schauffele also putted in from 37 feet on the 15th.

Davis, paired with compatriot Adam Scott, was crucial with late putts in their 1up fourball victory over Sam Burns and Billy Horschel.

On the par-five 16th, Davis sunk an 11-foot eagle putt to win the hole, before making a 14-foot birdie putt to claim the 17th. Davis backed that up with a nine-foot birdie putt to tie 18 and secure the win.

The unbeaten Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas defeated Hideki Matsuyama and Taylor Pendrith 4 and 3 for USA's only fourballs win, while Im Sung-jae and Sebastian Munoz never trailed as they got past Tony Finau and Kevin Kisner 3 and 2.

In the morning's foursomes, Lee Kyoung-hoon and Kim Joo-hyung defeated Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns 2 and 1 and Adam Scott teamed up with Hideki Matsuyama to knock off Cameron Young and Collin Morikawa 3 and 2.

USA got victories as Spieth and Thomas won against Im and Corey Conners 4 and 3 and Finau and Max Homa beating Kim Si-woo and Davis 4 and 3. Spieth and Thomas are the third duo in Presidents Cup history to go undefeated in the first four rounds.

"We're in a good spot," USA captain Davis Love said. "We have a lot of guys hitting it good. They just made more putts than we did.

"We always feel like we're at an advantage in the singles. We've had some great singles days in the past."

Friday was the second day of The Presidents Cup, and the second day in a row the United States team came away with four of the five points on offer to lead 8-2 in the best-of-30 competition.

After foursomes was the format on Thursday, things moved to four-ball for the second trip around Quail Hollow, meaning all four golfers in their matchup play each hole, with only the best score from each duo counting towards their score.

Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele – the reigning champions from the PGA Tour's only team event during the season, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans – showed no signs of slowing down after their blistering 6 and 5 win in the opening round, again delivering the biggest margin of victory for the day.

They defeated the duo of Hideki Matsuyama and Tom Kim 3 and 2, and the International team needed to mount a comeback to even survive that long as the United States were 5up through eight holes.

Kim was responsible for all three winning holes for his duo, with birdies on the 12th, 14th and 15th, while Cantlay and Schauffele evenly split their six triumphant holes with three apiece.

The only other fixture to not go the full 18 was Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas' 2 and 1 win against Australian duo Cam Davis and Adam Scott.

It was another hot start for the United States, with back-to-back birdies from Thomas and one from Spieth putting them 3up through eight holes, and although Davis and Scott both won a hole each down the back-nine, they were never able to bring the margin to within one.

Things were much more competitive in Max Homa and Billy Horschel's 1up win against Canadians Corey Conners and Taylor Pendrith, as the Americans picked up the lead with one hole to play.

Team United States took a 2up lead into the back-nine, which was quickly erased by Conners with two birdies on the 11th and 13th, leaving things tied until the 17th, where Homa delivered a clutch birdie to secure the win.

There were no wins for the Internationals on Friday, but they collected two half-points as the duos of Mito Pereira and Christiaan Bezuidenhout as well as Im Sung-jae and Sebastian Munoz held on to salvage something from the day.

Im and Munoz had a tough matchup against world number one Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns, but it was Burns doing most of the heavy lifting for the United States, winning three of his team's four holes.

Munoz won three of the Internationals' four holes, including a par on the 17th as both Americans bogeyed to even things up.

Lastly, Pereira and Bezuidenhout were leading through 13 holes, before Cameron Young tied it and collected another half-point for his duo with Kevin Kisner.

Saturday will see teams contest both foursomes and four-ball rounds, before the competition moves to singles play on Sunday.

Rory McIlroy became the first three-time winner of the FedEx Cup after coming from six shots behind to win the Tour Championship, beating Scottie Scheffler and Im Sung-jae by one stroke at the end of a thrilling final round.

McIlroy, who also lifted the trophy in 2016 and 2019, required a spectacular collapse from world number one Scheffler to seal his victory on Sunday.

With six holes to play after the third round was halted due to lightning, Scheffler came back and birdied four, leaving Xander Schauffele in his wake as he built a six-shot buffer heading into the last trip around East Lake Golf Club.

But after rounds of 65, 66 and 66, Scheffler posted four bogeys and one birdie for a three-over 73, dropping back to 20 under. No player shot worse than 73 in the final round.

McIlroy did not reach the outright lead until Scheffler gave it to him, bogeying the 16th to leave McIlroy alone atop the leaderboard with two holes to play.

Despite a hook with his final tee shot, McIlroy kept his cool, recovering and tapping in his two-putt for the win, and he acknowledged Scheffler in his speech during the trophy presentation.

"What a day," he said. "Firstly, there's one thing I want to say – I feel like Scottie deserves at least half of this today.

"He has had an unbelievable season – I feel sort of bad that I pipped him at the post, but he's a hell of a competitor, and an even better guy, and it was an honour and a privilege to battle with him today. I'm sure we'll have many more.

"I told him today 'we're one-all in Georgia this year' – because he got the Masters, and I got this."

Finishing tied with Scheffler in second-place was Im, with his metronomic consistency leading to rounds of 67, 65, 66 and 66 for his 20 under.

Schauffele had appeared likely to race past Scheffler before the lightning struck on Saturday, and he struggled after resuming in the morning, going one-over from his last six holes of the third round before posting a 69 to finish alone in fourth place at 18 under.

Max Homa ended up sneaking into the top-five after opening the week with a 71, following it with rounds of 62, 66 and 66 to finish at 17 under, tied with Justin Thomas.

Sepp Straka and Patrick Cantlay were a further shot back, tied for seventh at 16 under, with Tony Finau (15 under) and Tom Hoge (14 under) rounding out the top-10. Finau shot Sunday's round of the day with his 64, posting seven birdies and one bogey.

Page 2 of 5
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.